Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

A group ride leader (who seems to be fond of me although he treats me as a funny guy, too) asked me a couple weeks ago:
'Stefan, when will you get rid of your winter helmet?'
'When the daily temperature exceeds 15 C", I answered.
Several days ago, I reminded him of his question. Now, he was aware the winter wouldn't leave us soon. So he said:
'The Spring won't come early this year...', and I said:
'I think the second half of June should be warm!'
:D
There was a time when I thought donning your winter helmet well into April looked a bit strange but now I realize how grateful I felt by choosing to wear mine today. Thankfully, the bike is still winter prepped but I’ll have to continue to add on an extra layer over the next few days if I want to continue riding.

The wind was horrid today as I set out towards Heritage Ranch but it was better once I was in the trees. The studded tires felt sure footed on the frozen trails but the overnight temps weren’t cold enough to freeze this pool in the middle of the trail.

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My presence along the trail startled several deer as they gracefully scattered themselves into the woods only to reappear from a safe distance.

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We’ve experienced snow on occasion well into June. Check out the snowfall record of my hometown back in June of 2010.

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It snowed again this morning but it’s the -18 windchill value that I have to prepare for on today’s ride. :(
Do you mean 1910? At least Winnipeg doesn't look like it's had any snow in June! I sure don't remember any growing up there. And I DO miss Winnipeg summers, the lakes, cottages etc. There's something special about surviving winter in Winnipeg and the joy that that summer brings (and all the warm weather living/activity you have to pack into 3 months!). Definitely don't get that feeling here. My perfect life would be June-August in Winnipeg, Sept-Nov in Brisbane, somewhere else not yet determined Dec-Feb, and then back to Brisbane March-May.
 
Poland's Easter 2013...
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Easter, Ltd.

On April 7, 2013, there was -7 C outside! And we are not Canada!!! (Or, Oregon, for one).
I think that's what my partner thinks Xmas in Winnipeg would be like. Warm enough to go outside with a sweater and pick up snow with your bare hands. Not -32 with a windchill that will freeze bare skin in like 20 seconds! He really has no idea what is in store for him.
 
@ChezCheese:) - Who cares what it looks like when only the deer are looking anyway?

How True!

@minigrrl - Do you mean 1910? At least Winnipeg doesn't look like it's had any snow in June! I sure don't remember any growing up there. And I DO miss Winnipeg summers, the lakes, cottages etc. There's something special about surviving winter in Winnipeg and the joy that that summer brings (and all the warm weather living/activity you have to pack into 3 months!). Definitely don't get that feeling here. My perfect life would be June-August in Winnipeg, Sept-Nov in Brisbane, somewhere else not yet determined Dec-Feb, and then back to Brisbane March-May.

Doh! I think that I would have remembered snow that far into June 12 years ago. Thanks for picking up on that. A couple of weeks in Brisbane right about now sounds blissful. 👍
 
A beautiful spring day 75f or perhaps 22c (I refuse to refer to a chart). Just as I'm starting to get my legs back I have a break soon for a 'procedure'. The neurosurgeon gave me her word as a cyclist I would only miss a week for the carpal tunnel business.
On my ride was this huge sprayer idling and, with the Ukraine in mind, I took this picture. I asked Randy the operator if he had seen any Russian tanks. He yelled 'no' then gave me a wink and smile.
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A beautiful spring day 75f or perhaps 22c (I refuse to refer to a chart). Just as I'm starting to get my legs back I have a break soon for a 'procedure'. The neurosurgeon gave me her word as a cyclist I would only miss a week for the carpal tunnel business.
On my ride was this huge sprayer idling and, with the Ukraine in mind, I took this picture. I asked Randy the operator if he had seen any Russian tanks. He yelled 'no' then gave me a wink and smile.
View attachment 119666
Be careful. I saw today what can happen when bikes and tractors get too close
 
When the sounds of an army ...

...of lawn mowers, tractors, and other assorted farm and estate equipment fire up and assault our hearing nonstop from dawn to dusk, you know Mother Nature has turned off the incessant rain here in Northern Vieginia and turned up the heat to t-shirt "outside" weather, signaling it's time to get ready for Summer to hit hard, hot, and soon.

And so it was that the long awaited warm spell was all I needed to encourage me to go AWOL to escape the clutches of "farm life in the Springtime". After having spent the last two weeks moving 400+ strawberry plants from an old, messy bed to a newly created, regimented one, it was time to take to the gravel roads for a much deserved ride. This past weekend I enjoyed a similar escape by joining the local bike shop group for a 22 mile paved and quite civilized ride to a nearby farm market. T'was great fun, got to reconnect with old cycling friends, browse an endless deployment of vendors at the weekend market, pet a million friendly pooches dragging their proud parents along on leashes while said canines worked the crowds for pets and adoration with the self assurance of experienced politicians. (I do declare that there were almost as many expertly groomed and highly pampered dogs in the crowds of people wandering the shops as there were people themselves. Not a mutt in the entire assembly. Every last one was a purebred in an astonishing number of different breeds).

Sadly, I didn't manage to find any farm fresh cheese, as my hubby had hoped I'd procure for him, so I arrived back home, a bit chilled and a bit damp from the intermittent sprinkles and minus the cheese, but still basking in the joy of just being able to finally ride the bike and not be forced yet again to stand at the window watching the outside world suffer the onslaught of perpetual rain and bitter cold.

I do have a 33 mile ride coming up this Saturday in Maryland with the ebike group, hence my need to put in some saddle time ASAP, especially now that the heat and sunshine were in full regalia, all the strawberry plants that could possibility fit in the new bed had been moved, and the other beds (veggies and corn) were waiting for seeding.

Last week the road crews had planted a warning sign that my gravel road across from my farm, my adopted road, would be closed for road repair. Seems like the road crew decided this "first warm day of the season" would be perfect to block the road midway by digging up and replacing a 75 year old culvert worn out from decades of seasons and routine flooding of a major creek that used the culvert to get from one side of the road to the other. I wasn't sure how extensive the road blockage would be, but I soon found out.

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It was a complete closure. A trench across the entire road flanked by large machines on both sides like opposing armies. An endless convoy of official trucks sat quietly off the sides, surrounded by an army of men in blaze orange and hi-viz green vests and hard hats supervising the operation of extracting the old metal culvert before a platoon of new plastic culvert could be deployed in the stream bed.
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There was no way around for a car or bike. Maybe for a person on foot if they felt willing to wade into the wide, muddy, quickly moving stream to attempt an advance to the far side. It was a blockage that would halt anyone. Anyone that didn't know the horse paths through the nearby woods that circumvented the big stream and could work around the blockade by sneaking through some private property, that is.

Since I knew the surrounding landowners, and all the ways through the surrounding woods, I set off on my bike as if it was my horse from years past. Down the nearby old road that had long devolved into a woodland path for horses and the foxhunt, through a stream that insisted I get my feet wet as payment for passage, up the increasingly wild path which required some negotiating with the littered remains of tree limbs lost in recent battles with the March winds that now semi blocked the muddy path, and up into an open field that was already flush with new growth destined to be hay by mid summer.
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I followed along an invisible route that only I knew from years in the past, memories tracing the way from an entirely different saddle on an entirely different conveyance, and then through a break in the woods bordering the field that also bordered a friend's property. I kept my bike moving beneath me, past my absent friend's back field, past her back yard occupied by a friendly curious and very vocal retired foxhound, and down her driveway back to the road on the opposite side of the breach.

I turned my bike back to the platoon of road department trucks lining this opposite side of the road breach, as well as several generators which filled the air with the roar of their ear splitting motors as they pumped massive volumes of water out of the big stream upstream, through a series of large fire hoses draped across the road to the downstream side where the water rejoined the stream bed to continue once again on its woodland run. I snapped a photo of one of the crew waiting to help deploy one of the new plastic culvert. He was already tired, hot and a bit grumpy, so I left him to his job while I watched the action from this side of the road.
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Across the breach the one big machine on the far side was busy systematically pounding a major offensive assault attempting to crumple the ancient metal culvert into a mass of smashed corrugated pieces. It was a hard fought battle as the old metal put up an impressive defense, refusing to yield its massive round shape until the fatigue of the constant onslaught of the machine's heavily fortified front digger slamming down again and again just proved to be too much. As the destruction took place on the far side, in the near side a new culvert piece was already being moved into place. I watched silently as pieces of the old world slipped away in advance of the new.

As the new culvert piece settled onto the creek bed, aided by the men and the machines, I took that as my cue to wave goodbye to some of the guys watching me from their vantage point in the stream, and headed down the uninterrupted road into the more peaceful countryside. About a mile further I did have to pull off the road momentarily to allow passage of two monstrous road department trucks making their way to the front line. The drivers happily, with big smiles, returned my friendly wave. After they had passed in a loud rumble of tires and dust, I reclaimed the road to continue on my journey.
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The rest of the ride was lost in the peace of the countside, the old gravel road taking me past elegant estates, down narrow steep declines and up slightly wider inclines, always offering beautiful views no matter which way I looked. Paul Simon accompanied me, singing a delightful ditty through the earbud snugged in my right ear about the time he and Julio were down in the school yard while my left ear, free from musical interludes, enjoyed the sounds of nature and the crunch of the gravel beneath my wheels. It was heaven. 9 miles later I was back in my own neck of the woods, stopping to chat with a neighbor "up the road a piece" whom I haven't seen since last Fall. As is typical of "country folk" we stood in the middle of the road, sharing the local news, discussing world news, and only stepping off to the side to exchange friendly waves hello to the cars and trucks that passed now and then, each vehicle slowing respectively as we yielded them enough room to pass before reclaiming the road to continue our conversation. After an enjoyable repast just gossiping and sharing funny stories I finally had to say goodbye to my neighbor and get moving because I had promised some of my extra strawberry plants to my son who had driven down from his place to ours and was waiting for me to get home.

And thus I found myself off my bike and back in the old strawberry patch, digging up strawberry plants once again. Deja vu, but this time in the sunshine.

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Taking my humans for a walk…

Moreton Island seen from Deception Bay

Looking east towards Moreton Island (35km distant)
Scarborough Boat Harbour (6km across water)

This morning I pedalled along the coast, taking a break for coffee in the shade of Scarborough Point's tall pines (right; 45km). Refreshed, I continued around the sweep of Deception Bay (foreground; 60km) where an excuse was found for another stop, with memories of times long gone (early 1970s!) when Jen and I took our Gordon setter for romps on the tidal flats.

In the distance is Moreton Island (30–35 km across the water) which acts as a natural breakwater keeping Pacific swells away. The island is a huge sandhill, mostly between 150 and 200 metres high.

Today Moreton Island is protected as a national park, but until the 1980s was mined for mineral sands. In an ugly standoff, the state government insisted on its right to grant mining leases whilst the federal government exercised its right to block exports. The impasse ended when the people of Queensland voted for change and the disgraced premier was shown the door.

Trivia: Queensland elections are held every four years on the last Saturday in October (coincidentally, immediately before the US elections). Voting is compulsory.
 
@Prairie Dog We got a little snow in 2010, it only took me 6 hours to get home from work! Normally it was about 20 minutes...
@Readytoride I loved your reading your story, always riveting! I hope you get many more rides in the near future!

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow which is looking promising with light winds and temps around 8C!

A few photos from my street in 2010, my dad was much more mobile then and still driving! This was actually a week after the heaviest fall, I managed to lose my photos....it was over 3 feet deep in my garden!
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Trivia: Queensland elections are held every four years on the last Saturday in October (coincidentally, immediately before the US elections). Voting is compulsory.
My understanding of compulsory voting in Australian is that those that don’t vote are fined and the money redistributed in a lottery for the voters. This simple system seems so much more sensible than in the US and ensures a much higher participation
 
Thank you, Diggy!
I'm surprised England gets that much!
I’m in the south central part of England, we don’t get much snow here. However, being rural, when we do get a good dump of snow, the whole area grinds to a stop as the local Councils are not geared up for it. Fortunately, I have an old Land Rover Defender which always works OK in the snow, water or whatever you throw at it.
 
When the sounds of an army ...

...of lawn mowers, tractors, and other assorted farm and estate equipment fire up and assault our hearing nonstop from dawn to dusk, you know Mother Nature has turned off the incessant rain here in Northern Vieginia and turned up the heat to t-shirt "outside" weather, signaling it's time to get ready for Summer to hit hard, hot, and soon.

And so it was that the long awaited warm spell was all I needed to encourage me to go AWOL to escape the clutches of "farm life in the Springtime". After having spent the last two weeks moving 400+ strawberry plants from an old, messy bed to a newly created, regimented one, it was time to take to the gravel roads for a much deserved ride. This past weekend I enjoyed a similar escape by joining the local bike shop group for a 22 mile paved and quite civilized ride to a nearby farm market. T'was great fun, got to reconnect with old cycling friends, browse an endless deployment of vendors at the weekend market, pet a million friendly pooches dragging their proud parents along on leashes while said canines worked the crowds for pets and adoration with the self assurance of experienced politicians. (I do declare that there were almost as many expertly groomed and highly pampered dogs in the crowds of people wandering the shops as there were people themselves. Not a mutt in the entire assembly. Every last one was a purebred in an astonishing number of different breeds).

Sadly, I didn't manage to find any farm fresh cheese, as my hubby had hoped I'd procure for him, so I arrived back home, a bit chilled and a bit damp from the intermittent sprinkles and minus the cheese, but still basking in the joy of just being able to finally ride the bike and not be forced yet again to stand at the window watching the outside world suffer the onslaught of perpetual rain and bitter cold.

I do have a 33 mile ride coming up this Saturday in Maryland with the ebike group, hence my need to put in some saddle time ASAP, especially now that the heat and sunshine were in full regalia, all the strawberry plants that could possibility fit in the new bed had been moved, and the other beds (veggies and corn) were waiting for seeding.

Last week the road crews had planted a warning sign that my gravel road across from my farm, my adopted road, would be closed for road repair. Seems like the road crew decided this "first warm day of the season" would be perfect to block the road midway by digging up and replacing a 75 year old culvert worn out from decades of seasons and routine flooding of a major creek that used the culvert to get from one side of the road to the other. I wasn't sure how extensive the road blockage would be, but I soon found out.

View attachment 119708
It was a complete closure. A trench across the entire road flanked by large machines on both sides like opposing armies. An endless convoy of official trucks sat quietly off the sides, surrounded by an army of men in blaze orange and hi-viz green vests and hard hats supervising the operation of extracting the old metal culvert before a platoon of new plastic culvert could be deployed in the stream bed.
View attachment 119710

There was no way around for a car or bike. Maybe for a person on foot if they felt willing to wade into the wide, muddy, quickly moving stream to attempt an advance to the far side. It was a blockage that would halt anyone. Anyone that didn't know the horse paths through the nearby woods that circumvented the big stream and could work around the blockade by sneaking through some private property, that is.

Since I knew the surrounding landowners, and all the ways through the surrounding woods, I set off on my bike as if it was my horse from years past. Down the nearby old road that had long devolved into a woodland path for horses and the foxhunt, through a stream that insisted I get my feet wet as payment for passage, up the increasingly wild path which required some negotiating with the littered remains of tree limbs lost in recent battles with the March winds that now semi blocked the muddy path, and up into an open field that was already flush with new growth destined to be hay by mid summer.
View attachment 119706

View attachment 119705
I followed along an invisible route that only I knew from years in the past, memories tracing the way from an entirely different saddle on an entirely different conveyance, and then through a break in the woods bordering the field that also bordered a friend's property. I kept my bike moving beneath me, past my absent friend's back field, past her back yard occupied by a friendly curious and very vocal retired foxhound, and down her driveway back to the road on the opposite side of the breach.

I turned my bike back to the platoon of road department trucks lining this opposite side of the road breach, as well as several generators which filled the air with the roar of their ear splitting motors as they pumped massive volumes of water out of the big stream upstream, through a series of large fire hoses draped across the road to the downstream side where the water rejoined the stream bed to continue once again on its woodland run. I snapped a photo of one of the crew waiting to help deploy one of the new plastic culvert. He was already tired, hot and a bit grumpy, so I left him to his job while I watched the action from this side of the road.
View attachment 119707
Across the breach the one big machine on the far side was busy systematically pounding a major offensive assault attempting to crumple the ancient metal culvert into a mass of smashed corrugated pieces. It was a hard fought battle as the old metal put up an impressive defense, refusing to yield its massive round shape until the fatigue of the constant onslaught of the machine's heavily fortified front digger slamming down again and again just proved to be too much. As the destruction took place on the far side, in the near side a new culvert piece was already being moved into place. I watched silently as pieces of the old world slipped away in advance of the new.

As the new culvert piece settled onto the creek bed, aided by the men and the machines, I took that as my cue to wave goodbye to some of the guys watching me from their vantage point in the stream, and headed down the uninterrupted road into the more peaceful countryside. About a mile further I did have to pull off the road momentarily to allow passage of two monstrous road department trucks making their way to the front line. The drivers happily, with big smiles, returned my friendly wave. After they had passed in a loud rumble of tires and dust, I reclaimed the road to continue on my journey.
View attachment 119716

The rest of the ride was lost in the peace of the countside, the old gravel road taking me past elegant estates, down narrow steep declines and up slightly wider inclines, always offering beautiful views no matter which way I looked. Paul Simon accompanied me, singing a delightful ditty through the earbud snugged in my right ear about the time he and Julio were down in the school yard while my left ear, free from musical interludes, enjoyed the sounds of nature and the crunch of the gravel beneath my wheels. It was heaven. 9 miles later I was back in my own neck of the woods, stopping to chat with a neighbor "up the road a piece" whom I haven't seen since last Fall. As is typical of "country folk" we stood in the middle of the road, sharing the local news, discussing world news, and only stepping off to the side to exchange friendly waves hello to the cars and trucks that passed now and then, each vehicle slowing respectively as we yielded them enough room to pass before reclaiming the road to continue our conversation. After an enjoyable repast just gossiping and sharing funny stories I finally had to say goodbye to my neighbor and get moving because I had promised some of my extra strawberry plants to my son who had driven down from his place to ours and was waiting for me to get home.

And thus I found myself off my bike and back in the old strawberry patch, digging up strawberry plants once again. Deja vu, but this time in the sunshine.

View attachment 119712
so good to have you back on the road again
 
Is snow the usual thing as for Scotland? (I know it is a rarity for England).
I'm in Central Scotland where we don't get much these days, up until the 90's we got plenty every year but since the 2000's not so much! The North of Scotland is very different as you can see from @DiggyGun 's post, the Highlands get way more! I'm a bit surprised about the stats for Birmingham and shocked about London, 18 inches must be a 10 year average! 🤣
 
The Road That Doesn't Exist (On The Map)

Unexpected +16 C, sunshine and mild wind? I had to set off for a ride! I, however, got fooled by the weather forecast that predicted westerly wind, so I rode northwest (the actual wind was southeast!) My plan was to test if I could make a round trip to Klimatyczna Cafe just on a single SL Range Extender. (I succeeded with 12% of the RE left). I was using a Vado SL setting that made me 63% stronger :D and the motor power was flexible up to 240 W. Another goal was to ride via less boring route than usually.

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The Hwy #579 (from Błonie to Leszno) has disappeared from updated digital maps. The reason is a lengthy reconstruction of that road segment. For me, that part meant a lot of fun as it seemed to be the ideal environment for "gravel cycling" :) (My Vado SL is gravel-enabled totally!)

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Here, the road has already been sealed. There will be an asphalt bike path, too! I had to ride on very warm (freshly laid) asphalt soon! I was afraid not to damage my expensive tyres so I rode that part as fast as possible! :)

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Suddenly, I was stopped by a "sand dune"! (The sand was piled up to prevent drivers from driving into the road there). Far in the background, you can see a perpendicular road: That's the beginning of a long road extremely popular among roadies, and including several Strava Segments.

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Lemon Ice Cream.

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Apple Pie.

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On my way back, I had to counter headwind (even if it was not dramatically strong). See the Moszna Stack. It is perfectly visible from the distance of 10 kilometres in the straight line! (I made a measurement with Google Maps post-ride).

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To avoid riding with traffic on boring asphalt roads, I intentionally took damaged gravel/dirt road along the railroad.

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I could navigate using two chimneys as the reference points. The stack as seen on the right is an inoperable chimney by Jabeerwocky Brewery (the brewery is electricity powered). That was the last gravel segment I intentionally included in my trip!

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Ride Map with POI.
 
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@Prairie Dog We got a little snow in 2010, it only took me 6 hours to get home from work! Normally it was about 20 minutes...
@Readytoride I loved your reading your story, always riveting! I hope you get many more rides in the near future!

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow which is looking promising with light winds and temps around 8C!

A few photos from my street in 2010, my dad was much more mobile then and still driving! This was actually a week after the heaviest fall, I managed to lose my photos....it was over 3 feet deep in my garden!View attachment 119726View attachment 119727View attachment 119728

View attachment 119729
Wow! That is epic spring snow even for us. It’s amazing that a plow was even able to get through those tight streets. I’ve seen some of the hilly terrain that you cycle on and am not surprised it took you so long to make it home. It might have been faster commute on XC skis. ;)
 
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